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What is DevOps?

What is DevOps - DevOps Explained

Introduction to DevOps

DevOps is a set of practices that fuses software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) to shorten the application development cycle and ensure continuous delivery with high software quality. By adopting DevOps practices, you can help your organization to deliver software more reliably, quickly, and efficiently.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is an approach to software development that prioritizes collaboration, communication, automation, and continuous improvement with the help of faster feedback loops for more frequent delivery of updates and features. Here, the flow of information and work runs different directions as opposed to the traditional singular direction in the classic waterfall model of the Software Delivery Life Cycle (SDLC). The DevOps model helps organizations to break down silos between development and operations teams, streamline the software development process, and deliver software faster and with higher quality.

DevOps practices include continuous integration, continuous delivery, and continuous deployment, which are automated processes that help teams deliver code changes more frequently and reliably. DevOps methodologies generally emphasize the use of infrastructure as code where managing infrastructure through code instead of manual processes, monitoring and logging are essential for identifying and resolving issues quickly.

The meaning of DevOps and its evolution

One can define DevOps in simple terms as the marriage of development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams. It has evolved from early proposals to its current state, where it is recognized as a crucial methodology for organizations seeking to improve their software development processes and deliver better software products.

What is DevOps - ManageEngine Applications Manager

The history of DevOps can be traced back to the late 2000s when IT operations and software development communities recognized a gap which served as a major disadvantage between the development and operations teams. Before its inception, the development and Ops teams had separate goals, leadership and therefore, an entirely different approach when it came to testing applications and judging performance. During this time, plans to combine software development methodologies with deployment and operations concepts were put forth. These proposals laid the foundation for what would become known as DevOps, which gained wide popularity since 2008, when it was publicly made known. Subsequently, large companies such as Amazon, Netflix, Target, and Adobe have embraced the DevOps methodology that largely contributes to their prevailing success.

Why is DevOps important?

The goal of DevOps is to provide a culture of collaboration and communication between software development teams and IT operations teas, enabling organizations to deliver software faster, with greater efficiency and quality, and with reduced time to market. It encourages automation and continuous improvement to enmsure that code changes can be tested and deployed quickly and reliably.

The benefits of DevOps include:

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Faster delivery

DevOps can help organizations to deliver new software and updates faster. This gives them an edge in the marketplace.

DevOps Tool - ManageEngine Applications Manager

Reduced costs

DevOps can help to reduce costs by streamlining the software delivery process and eliminating waste.

DevOps - ManageEngine Applications Manager

Improved quality

DevOps can help to improve the quality of software by catching bugs early in the development process. This can lead to fewer customer support issues and increased customer satisfaction.

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Better collaboration and communication

DevOps focuses on breaking down silos between development and operations teams. By promoting a culture of collaboration and communication, DevOps helps to align teams towards common goals, improving morale and reducing frustration.

List of popular DevOps tools and technologies for efficient delivery

Managing source code is the foremost practice that is implemented irrespective of DevOps adoption. Git is a widely used distributed version control system that helps teams manage code changes, merge source code, and track versions.

In addition to source code management, the DevOps process involves the implementation of four key concepts for effective and efficient delivery of applications. These key concepts and the tools to achieve them are:

  1. Continuous integration (CI): CI is the practice of merging code changes into a central repository several times a day. This helps to identify and fix bugs early in the development process.
  2. Continuous delivery (CD): CD is the practice of automatically deploying code changes to production several times a day. This helps to ensure that new features and bug fixes are available to users as soon as possible. Jenkins, Gitlab CI/CD, CircleCI, and TeamCity are some of the popular CI/CD tools that help automate the build, test, and deploy process of software applications.
  3. Infrastructure as code (IaC): IaC is the practice of defining infrastructure as code. This means that the infrastructure that runs your applications is described in code, just like your applications are. This makes it easier to automate the deployment and management of infrastructure. Ansible, Chef, and Puppet are popular IaC tools used for automating the deployment and configuration of infrastructure resources.
  4. Monitoring and alerting: DevOps teams use monitoring and alerting to track the health of their systems and applications. This helps them to identify and fix problems before they impact users. ManageEngine's Applications Manager is one of the popular monitoring tools that's used for identifying potential issues and troubleshooting them for smooth delivery.

DevOps pipeline for continuous delivery and integration

A DevOps pipeline for continuous delivery and integration typically consists of several stages that help automate the process of building, testing, and deploying software.

A high-level overview of the DevOps infinity loop:

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  1. Code Repository: Developers commit their code changes to a version control system (e.g., Git), which serves as the central repository for source code. In this stage, the team forms the base plan for the application.
  2. Build: The pipeline starts by building the application using a build tool. This stage compiles the code and generates artifacts.
  3. Deployment and Operation: After the code has passed the tests, it is deployed to a staging environment. Here, it is tested further in an environment closely resembling production.
  4. Test: Various automated tests are executed to validate the application's functionality, including unit tests, integration tests, and acceptance tests. This stage helps identify and fix any issues early in the development cycle.
  5. Approval: In some cases, a manual approval process may be required before promoting the code to the next stage. This part of the DevOps lifecycle ensures that stakeholders have reviewed and given their consent for the release.
  6. Production Deployment: Once the code has been approved, it can be deployed to the production environment. Automation tools or orchestration platforms help with deploying the code to production servers.
  7. Monitoring and Feedback: After deployment, monitoring tools are used to collect metrics and monitor the application's performance. Any issues or errors encountered in the production environment are identified and addressed promptly.
  8. Iteration and Improvement: The DevOps cycle continuously loops through the stages, allowing teams to iterate, improve, and release new features or bug fixes quickly.

DevOps monitoring for effective management and control

DevOps monitoring is crucial for effective management and control of applications. It involves tracking and measuring the performance and health of systems and applications to identify and address issues early on. By continuously monitoring, potential threats and vulnerabilities can be detected and mitigated. It helps ensure the timely delivery of code without introducing vulnerabilities, provides visibility into complex systems, and improves insight and control over operations.

Monitoring plays a vital role in DevOps management as it also helps establish baselines for key performance indicators and facilitates the analysis of trends and recognition of anomalies. Utilizing the right DevOps platform is essential in optimizing the software development process. For instance, Applications Manager's DevOps monitoring tool keeps track of the application development and operation cycles, enabling the identification and resolution of potential issues before they impact the system.

DevOps Solutions- ManageEngine Applications Manager


The future of DevOps and its impact on businesses

As the world becomes increasingly digital, the demand for organizations that can deliver software quickly and reliably will only grow. DevOps is well-positioned to meet this demand, as it offers a number of benefits that can help businesses to improve their software delivery process.

Some of the key trends that are shaping the future of DevOps include:

  • Automation: Automation is becoming increasingly important in DevOps. As the software delivery process becomes more complex, automation can help free up teams to focus on more strategic tasks.
  • Cloud: Cloud computing is another key trend that is shaping the future of DevOps. Cloud-based tools and services can help make DevOps more scalable and efficient.
  • Security: Security is a top priority for businesses in this digital age. DevOps solutions can help to improve security by automating the patching and configuration of infrastructure.
  • DevSecOps: DevSecOps is a new approach to security that integrates security into the entire software delivery process. This helps to ensure that security is not an afterthought, but rather a core part of the DevOps infrastructure.

DevOps has a transformative impact on businesses by enabling faster delivery, improved collaboration, enhanced software quality, increased efficiency, and better customer satisfaction. By adopting best DevOps practices, businesses can expect to achieve faster, more efficient software development, improved collaboration between teams, and ultimately, better business outcomes.

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